passive exerciser

How to Use Passive Exerciser to Help Those in Need

First and foremost, passive exerciser machines enable the disabled, the elderly, victims of stroke, convalescing patients, and those just out of rehab to improve their health and fitness at home. In fact, the passive exerciser is highly regarded by most healthcare professionals. Furthermore, many medical plans may cover their cost.

Benefits of Passive Exerciser Machines

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    First, circulation improves.
  • As a result, there is less likelihood of blood pooling in the lower torso, which, in turn, prevents ulcers or bedsores.
  • Also, swollen ankles and legs get relief.
  • In addition, by relaxing them and making them more flexible, occurrences of muscle spasms decrease.
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    Second, cardiac capacity increases, which allows more oxygen-rich blood to flow throughout the body.
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    Third, ankles, knees, hips and spine become more flexible.
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    Next, the exerciser prevents stiff joints. As a result, there is less joint pain.
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    Also, the passive exerciser may help improve contractures caused by atrophy, shortening of muscles, or joints.
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    Finally, the exerciser enables anyone to exercise in the comfort of their home while watching television, listening to music, using the cell phone, or reading.

Features of Passive Exerciser Machines

Most of all, high quality passive exerciser machines have the following features:

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    First, they have built in safety features such as an automatic cut off switch.
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    Second, the speed is adjustable.
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    Third, they can move in both forward and reverse direction.
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    Fourth, they may have a calorie counter.
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    Next, they may have a distance counter.
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    Also, they may display the amount of time spent using the exerciser.
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    In addition, they may be portable.
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    Furthermore, they can be used while the patient is sitting up or lying down so even someone on total bed rest can benefit from the exerciser.
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    Next, the machine may be used to exercise the lower or upper body.
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    Finally, some exercisers can switch between passive or active exercise.

How Do These Machines Reduce Chances of Getting Diabetes?

First and foremost, passive exercise may help to prevent diabetes in those who do very little exercise. By the way, nearly forty percent of North Americans have high levels of blood sugar after meals. Regrettably, these high levels of blood sugar can damage cells throughout the body. Now, when blood sugar levels rise too high, the sugar can stick on the outer membranes of cells. Regrettably, once there, the sugar can never get off.

Next, sugar is converted by a series of reactions to sorbitol. And, sorbitol destroys the cell. In fact, this cell destruction explains why diabetics and pre-diabetics can suffer blindness, deafness, heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, impotence, dementia, loss of feeling in the feet, osteoporosis and so forth.

So, any type of exercise, including that from passive movement of muscles by a machine, can help prevent diabetes or treat existing diabetes. Now, while resting muscles draw almost no sugar from the bloodstream, the little that they do draw requires insulin to do so. On the other hand, contracting muscles draw huge amounts of sugar from the bloodstream and don’t even need insulin to do so.

What Does Research Show About Passive Exercise?

First Study

First, the September 2016 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise included a study on passive pedaling. Specifically, this study focused on the effects of passively pedaling a stationary bike on non-lean sedentary participants. Meanwhile, the study reported that passive exercise lowered blood sugar levels and increased whole-body insulin sensitivity of these participants.

Second Study

Meanwhile, it has been demonstrated that, compared to healthy males and females who do not exercise, an acute bout of endurance exercise, increases insulin sensitivity. As a result, glucose tolerance improves. Therefore, endurance exercise is an effective strategy against insulin resistance.

Third Study

Next, a study published in the August 2016 issue of the European Journal of Applied Physiology, studied pedelecs. Now, pedelecs are bicycles that provide electric motor assistance only when the rider is pedaling. In the study, 20 sedentary commuters used these bikes for four weeks, at least 3 days a week and 40 minutes a day. Meanwhile, at the end of the period, the participants were found to be more fit. Furthermore, they averaged 4.9 METS when riding. Also, the participants showed significant reduction in glucose levels, maximal oxygen uptake, decrease in mean arterial blood pressure and reduced fat mass.

Fourth Study

Meanwhile, the September 2012 issue of European Journal of Applied Physiology reported results of another study. In fact, this study reported that a person using motor driven pedals to passively move two legs at 60 revolutions per minute expended 39 calories per hour. Meanwhile, the same person, passively moving two legs at 90 revolutions per minute, expended 96 calories per hour. By the way, this is about the same energy expended by a non-disabled person walking. Consequently, a person whose leg is paralyzed can use a motor driven pedal exerciser to get the same amount of exercise as a non-disabled person gets from walking.

Fifth Study

Finally, a 2015 study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science reported that both passive motion exercise as well as active motion exercise were similarly effective in improving functional fitness of elderly nursing home residents. By the way, functional fitness included such activities as arm curl, function reach, and a 12-minute walk test. Therefore, the takeaway is that elders who are unable to do active motion exercises, can benefit from passive motion exercises.

Motor-Driven Electric Bicycles

First, motor-driven electric bicycles are great for anyone who is out of shape or just not strong enough to ride a regular bike. Moreover, motor-driven bikes may make it possible for almost anyone to gain the benefits of an exercise program. Also, the more you push the pedals with your muscles the more fit you become. And, studies show that even having your legs moved by a motor has its benefits.

Now, sitting on a stationary bike and letting the motor driven pedals move your legs may burn extra calories and lower blood sugar and insulin levels in inactive people.

Motor-Driven Road Bicycles

First, motor-driven electric bicycles are great for anyone who is out of shape or just not strong enough to ride a regular bicycle. In fact, these bicycles provide a boost to the rider, such as, for example, when going up a hill. As a result, these bicycles make it possible for almost anyone, who knows how to ride a road bicycle, to use them and get some exercise. Also, the more they push the pedals with their leg muscles the more fit they become. And, studies show that even having your legs moved by pedals, driven by a motor, has its benefits.

Motor-Driven Pedal Exerciser Machines

Meanwhile, motor driven pedal exercisers are low profile pedal exercisers that are driven by electric motors. Now, the user sitting in a chair or on a couch, places their feet on the pedals, and starts the motor. As a result, the motor rotates the pedals, which in turn, passively, moves the user’s feet in a circular motion.

Most of all, this passive exerciser allows someone having, for example, Parkinson’s to move their feet and get the blood flowing in their lower legs. Others who would benefit include those with polio, paraplegics, lymphedema in the legs, the elderly, and a host of other issues that limit the use of their lower legs.

Meanwhile, the studies, described previously, show that these passive exercises burn some calories and lowers blood sugar and insulin levels in sedentary people. Finally, by lowering blood sugar, moving the legs increases insulin sensitivity.

Whole Body Passive Exerciser Vibration Machines

Next, whole body vibration machines are used to exercise your muscles. So, to use this machine, stand on the vibration plate with your knees bent about 30 degrees and turn on the machine. Consequently, the plate starts to vibrate at a frequency of 30 times per second.

Now, this vibration tricks the body into thinking it’s falling. As a result, the vibrations trigger a stress response. By the way, this stress response is an extremely rapid muscle contraction which forces your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times every second. Moreover, it’s the knee-extension muscles (quadriceps) that are most exercised by standing on the vibrating platform.

Vibrations

Now, there are various types of vibrations that can be used. For example, Lineal vibrations refer to those that provide an up and down movement. Meanwhile, pivotal vibrations occur when the vibrating platform pivots from one side to the other in a side-to-side movement. Either of these vibrations can occur at high or low frequencies.

Research

Next, a 2004 study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research reported on the effectiveness of this passive exerciser. In fact, among the 90 post-menopausal women using the vibration machine, the study reported:

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    First, a nearly a one percent increase in hip bone density.
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    And, a measurable increase in muscle strength.

By the way, in the study, the women used the machine for 30 minutes three times a week for six months.

Meanwhile, another study on vibration machines was published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. And, this study reported that the elderly who couldn’t do traditional exercises, saw increases in muscle strength and speed of movement.

Also, some research showed that whole-body vibration may help improve muscle strength.

Finally, other research shows that whole-body vibration, when performed correctly and under medical supervision when needed, can:

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    First, reduce back pain.
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    Also, improve strength and balance in older adults.
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    Finally, reduce bone loss.

Passive Exerciser Chi Machines

Next, chi machines shake the body from the ankles up while you are lying down. Most of all, this is a totally passive way of increasing blood circulation to the muscles. However, chi machine won’t increase muscle strength.

By the way, this passive exerciser can be used as part of a rehabilitation program. Also, people who cannot exercise can improve their lower-body mobility and overall blood circulation with this machine.

Furthermore, the shaking and subsequent relaxation of the lymph system and muscles causes:

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    First, the oxygen flow to penetrate all parts of the body.
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    Next, a feeling of some kind of rush.
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    Finally, the blood to flow in all parts of the body. In fact, this is why people look flushed after exercising.

Passive Exerciser for Legs

Meanwhile, leg exercisers are passive exerciser machines that use a motor to move feet back and forth. Most of all, this machine does not rotate the user’s feet, but simply moves them back and forth. So, it’s great for someone who has a hard time using a pedal exerciser. In the meantime, the machine helps the elderly by lowering their chances of getting diseases like Peripheral Arterial Disease.

About the Author Lisa